Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A few updates with reflection...

It's funny, if you think about it for a while. In five days, it'll be a full year since we first started this blog on this bathroom renovation, and here I am making more piecemeal updates. If I were to offer advice to those thinking of doing the same, I'd be conflicted. One side of me would say "get a general contractor and just buy the bathoom you want", while the other would say "do as much yourself as you can, since you are the only one to blame."

Of the issues we encountered, to be honest, most of the failings were on us (me) with a lack of planning or followup or not really knowing what we were getting into. We didn't want to spend too much money, and we wanted to do a lot ourselves. The things we couldn't do, we wanted to hire out. The problem with that was two-fold -- we wanted multiple estimates, and we wanted it done to code, so it wasn't a surprise if we ever sold the house. The city of Minneapolis is fairly strict on code compliance when inspecting a house before sale, so best to deal with that now rather than later. The other side of this requirement is that this economy has produced a lot of people hunting for one-off tasks to supplement their income, but they're not licensed, insured, or ready to pull permits. Sometimes, you don't find that out until after the estimate. Sometimes, you line stuff up with people, and they don't return calls or don't show up. More time passes, and with full time jobs and the fact that it isn't the primary room, it just falls behind. (and behind, and behind)

So, here we are, but we're really in the final stretch. Since the last update, electrical was finished, but not really a lot to show there. They removed junction boxes from where our shower will be, added lines for lights above the sink and an outlet next to it, and ran a new GFCI run to the box. We do finally have our switches on the inside rather than the outside, which I'm sure will mess me up for a while.

We decided to replace the insulation from 60s/70s-era R-3 Balsam Wool to some nice R-13 fiberglass.

We also had the sliding window replaced with some really great glass block. The design makes the room have even more light, which is fantastic. It's really hard to take a picture of, though, so you get two -- one for the light, one for the texture.

Now, we have to do the shower pan, and then bring in drywallers. Then, we'll do some tiling and look at ordering shower glass. During that process, we'll start installing fixtures, and it'll almost be a bathroom again. At the very least, someone will be able to pee upstairs again.

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